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Preston County commissioners discuss AEDs, active shooter training

KINGWOOD — Preston commissioners discussed placing AEDs in all county buildings and offering CPR training to employees.

County Administrator Shannon Wolfe told Commissioners Dave Price, Don Smith and Samantha Stone six of the Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) would be needed to cover all buildings. Stone had inquired earlier about getting the devices.

The Preston County Health Department, housed on the top floor of the courthouse annex, will buy one, leaving the county with an estimated cost of about $15,000 for the others, Wolfe said.

There are multiple options available, Wolfe said. She recommended one that is compatible with devices used by KAMP Ambulance, which is the closest ambulance service to Kingwood.

Stone asked about renting the AEDs. Smith said sometimes renting can be more expensive than buying them outright. Wolfe will get prices to compare.

Once opened, the devices verbally lead users through how to use them.

Wolfe said she wants to offer CPR training to employees. “I would like to have one or two people in each office” trained, she said. The training would be voluntary.

Preston Emergency Management/911 Director Duane Hamilton and Assistant Director Justin Wolfe can provide training, the administrator said.

Office safety

Addressing a different kind of safety, Wolfe said Assessor Connie Ervin is concerned about security in her office. Sheriff’s deputies J.C. Farling and S.R. Mitter can provide training on how to handle “an active shooter, emergency type” situation, Wolfe said.

“It teaches people to be very conscious of their surroundings, and I would like to add that to our employee training,” Wolfe said.

After the training, deputies would meet with staff in each office and advise them further on how to handle situations.

“And I think that one-on-one in each office would be very important,” Wolfe said.

Service animals

Wolfe also said she posted signs on entry doors to all county buildings except the animal shelter, denying entrance to all animals except service animals.

“I’m concerned about that issue. Safety and disruption,” Wolfe said.

The policy was prompted by an issue when a dog was brought into the annex last week. No one was injured in the incident.

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